Monday, August 14, 2017

And in The Straits Times today: It's a small, small world - miniature modelling by Singaporeans

The art of miniature modelling may seem like a niche interest, but more and more hobbyists here are turning their passion into a growing business - either as a profitable sideline or a full-time profession. Unique collectables like mossariums and food sculptures may catch the eye of the younger set, while the more traditional scale models are still highly sought after by collectors. The Straits Times executive photojournalist Desmond Foo looks at the work of some hobbyists.

Full report can be found at The Straits Times HERE

Mr Calvin Tan, 41, is not only a World War II buff but also a world-renowned miniature figure sculptor and painter. The winner of many overseas awards is also an author and recently produced a video on the art of miniature figure painting. It can take him a few months to complete a hyper realistic figure, but one measuring a mere 5cm in height, sculpted with epoxy putty and then painted, can command a few thousand dollars. They come predominantly in three scales – 1/9, 1/16 and 1/35. Having completed over 200 since he first ventured into scale modelling at the age of 13, he is now focused solely on finishing his private collection. Mr Tan, who is married and has two children, is a department chair and senior lecturer at DigiPen Singapore.

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Six Scales owners Edmund Teo, 44, and Louis Khoo, 38, specialise in custom-building military, armour, aircraft, ship, sci-fi and architectural models. The name of their outfit refers to the most popular scales in modelling – 1/32, 1/35, 1/48, 1/72, 1/350 and 1/700. The duo, in business for almost a decade, have built a clientele that includes private collectors and people from the armed forces, advertising firms and museums. They have also built model aircraft for the Singapore Airshow. Scale modelling requires research and a variety of skills. Construction is a mixture of craft, scratch building and engineering; and the painting process can turn the completed model into a realistic miniature replica. Little wonder that one of these costs $150 and upwards.

To the delight of her more than 75,000 Instagram followers, AiClay owner Jocelyn Teo, 29, produces colourful mini food sculptures (above) that look so deliciously real, they are highly sought after by collectors. She started sculpting when she was an undergraduate in 2009, and turned it into a business when people offered money for her mouth-watering creations. It takes a few hours for a simple design, to a few days for something complex. Owning one of these will set you back anything from $20 to a few hundred dollars. Or you can try your hand at creating your own mini food sculpture at one of her occasional workshops.

Full report can be found at The Straits Times HERE

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